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First Blues song heard by WC Handy in 1903




Im Going Where the Southern Cross the Dog.
African American composer W. C. Handy wrote in his autobiography of the experience of sleeping on a train traveling through (or stopping at the station of) Tutwiler, Mississippi around 1903, and being awakened by:
... a lean, loose-jointed Negro [who] had commenced plucking a guitar beside me while I slept. His clothes were rags; his feet peeped out of his shoes. His face had on it some of the sadness of the ages.
As he played, he pressed a knife on the strings in a manner popularised by Hawaiian guitarists who used steel bars. ... The effect was unforgettable. His song, too, struck me instantly... The singer repeated the line ("Goin' where the Southern cross' the Dog") three times, accompanying himself on the guitar with the weirdest music I had ever heard.

The man at the train station is rumoured to be Henry Sloan...An Elder from Dockery Plantation that taught Charley Patton to play.. The Peavine Railroad went from Dockery to "Where the Southeren Cross the Dog" a few miles away to connect to all points North and West.
This is a version of the song that WC Handy heard that day...
1967 - Hayes McMullan


Run time 2 minutes 15 seconds
Producer Randy Meadows
Audio/Visual sound

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